Review of The Truth by Rod Lewis

Reviewer: Rod Lewis
First published in: The Guardian Messenger

Whodunnit in a weird Pratchett world

TERRY Pratchett’s Discworld novels unveil the comical antics of a fantasy world that rides through space on the back of a giant turtle.

If you can’t suspend your disbelief that far, this play may not be for you.

But the popular British author is renowned for his biting parodies.

Adapted by Stephen Briggs, The Truth is based on the 25th book in the Discworld series and this time takes a poke at journalism.

Sam Priestly is a solid leading man as William de Worde, editor of the Discworld’s first newspaper, who finds himself investigating a murder and learning the difference between what people need to know and what they want to know.

Playing the “Prints of Darkness”, Bryan Ormond is a riotously funny vampire photographer afraid of his own flash.

Sean Venning and Nik Hargreaves are delightfully quirky as two criminals in the thick of the murder mystery, and Pamela Munt shines as the zombie lawyer who hired them.

Stephanie Lively can do with more bite as Gaspode the talking dog, taking a few notes off Emily Moncrieff’s wonderful mannerisms as fellow canine Wuffles.

There’s more to playing a dog than just getting on all fours.

Several of the enthusiastic cast reprise their roles from previous plays by this company including George Leaman as Commander Vimes, Sally Fudge as dwarf Cheery and Damien White as the Patrician.

With Melanie Munt now in WA, Michelle Cioffi takes over the recurring role of werewolf Sergeant Angua, giving a darker and stronger interpretation to the part.

First time director Danny Sag takes this difficult script in his stride, showing great promise.

He keeps the story moving at a decent pace and makes excellent use of the limited acting area.

Blackouts are kept short by an efficient backstage crew and a good selection of songs but, as with most Unseen Theatre plays, a little more imagination could see them reduced further.

Costumes by regular seamstresses Sharman Gilchrist and Tania Prosdocimo are up to their usual high standard.

Good, unearthly fun. And that’s the truth.

Review published in the Guardian Messenger, 2-4-03, p. 25